There’s a little boy on the trolley. He has a yellow cassette player clipped to his hip. He grabs the bar above his head with both hands. His fingers are peaking out of cutoff leather gloves. He’s very strong. I can’t take my eyes off of his chin bobbing. I imagine what he’s listening to. I think of Michael Jackson. I start singing Tina Turner. He turns toward me. He doesn’t stop dancing. He changes his rhythm to match my melody. “Its like we were destined to move toward each other.” I’m whispering. He pushes a plastic button and the tapes stops spinning. “What did you say?” I stand up and put my hands on his cheeks. “I said, don’t stop dancing. When you leave this train, you’ll step into a City of perpetual sunlight who’s never seen the light of day. As soon as they lay their filthy eyes on you, they’ll know, you and you alone remember the light. They will try to take everything. Your physical body will be of no concern to them. They wont feed you. They wont let you drink the water running from their facet. They wont clean your skin or mend your wounds. When your spine breaks from constant presentation and pure devotion, they will walk away and forget everything. Baby, look me deep in the eyes; this is a warning. I need you to know that you are never alone. No matter what you find convincing. No matter his strength over your baby bones. No matter how tender her touch: how you ache when she walks away. You mustn’t chase her, sweet boy. She won’t be thinking of you crawling to the shower on all fours. No matter what they say, if they are not speaking in favor of the convictions of your childish nature, they are not meant to guide you. Run away! You mustn’t stay in this godforsaken place any longer than you have to. Find what you are searching for, come and go quickly, you are made to pass through, always. Don’t think too much when you look behind. Cry whenever you like. But don’t resent the pain. Feel it completely and love every moment. You are consumed. Let it be. Feel it. Feel consumed by the only body you were given to. You will be frightened. Their ways of defining love will scare you to death. Fuck their fear! Fuck their shame! And fuck their tendency to reflect it through your porcelain skin. You are perfect in your shameless movements. You are so fucking beautiful. Have you ever danced in the mirror? Just for you. I’ll explain. You are the Devine Masculine. You live in the body of a woman. This woman is beating in my chest. Her flame is dancing; it’s identical to mine. I want to cry every time that I remember. Every time it is a different picture, because that is simply the repercussions of remembering too much. I try not to think, but I’d rather be still. I don’t want to entertain myself. I don’t want distractions. I am in love with nothingness. I find the most joy in empty space, a blank canvass for thoughts to run wild over memories long trodden into imaginary dust: remnants of reality. Mostly, it’s just us on a train. We’ve never even been on a train.” The boy giggles. “No, goofball. This is a trolley. And your memory is failing. You’ve never met me. You must be brave babygirl. You must come get me. Its Christmas, and you‘ve been watching for far too long. The mirror won’t manifest my love. You cannot be reflected without me and it’s eating you alive to be blind. Be gentle, child; I’ll remind you what it looks like. The river is steel blue. When the sunsets over the tree line, it bleeds behind the forest floor, as if it were a canvas, and all you had to do was lean back. The colors bleed. My body begs you from the back porch. A black dog is licking your face. You lift your head from the dirt and scream; you’ll be home when you can. You cannot rush the perfect picture. You want the perfect scene. It must be captured in the beauty of imagination. It must go as planned.” I slap him. “You know nothing, babyboy. I am not after perfection. The plan was written at the river by my very own hands. There is no need to remember. There is nothing to be known. When I create the forest floor, it will be the first time it has ever existed. When you cry for me to return home, I will not pursue my imagination. I will move my body. I will jump up and run as fast as I can. When I reach your warm skin, I will be shaking furiously and weeping uncontrollably. I won’t want to be controlled! I will only want memory. When you take your coat off and wrap it over my shoulders, I will scream, where have you been! I’ve been so cold! You wont play along. You will be balance and grace. You will lift my body and open the screen door with your feet. The dog will run in first. I will be the last to remember, my love. But when I do,
There will be nothing left to the imagination.